U.S. Postal Service Announces Snail Mail Will Get Slower

First Class stamped mail will be slowed and no longer be delivered the next day starting next spring, the USPS tells the AP, as part of a broad series of cuts:

Milk_stampThe estimated $3 billion in reductions, to be announced in broader detail later Monday, are part of a wide-ranging effort by the Postal Service to quickly trim costs and avert bankruptcy. They could slow everything from check payments to Netflix's DVDs-by-mail, add costs to mail-order prescription drugs, and threaten the existence of newspapers and time-sensitive magazines delivered by postal carrier to far-flung suburban and rural communities.

That birthday card mailed first-class to Mom also could arrive a day or two late, if people don't plan ahead.

Said Jim Corridore, analyst with S&P Capital IQ, who tracks the shipping industry: "It's a potentially major change, but I don't think consumers are focused on it and it won't register until the service goes away. Over time, to the extent the customer service experience gets worse, it will only increase the shift away from mail to alternatives. There's almost nothing you can't do online that you can do by mail."

(image – the long-lobbied-for Milk stamp)


  1. Mike says

    How about they stop charging less for junk mail? Saves money, paper, and gets that crap out of our mailboxes.

  2. Chip says

    Americans aren’t going to realize what a valuable service they’ve lost until they lose it. Everything good about America is going down the drain.

  3. Paul R says

    The analysis that there’s nothing a person can’t do online instead of by mail overlooks the fact that many online activities involve ordering things that are then delivered by mail, whether USPS, UPS, or FedEx. So that quotation makes no sense to me.

    And add me to Mike’s view that junk mail is called that for a reason. Probably the least effective form of advertising/marketing.

    Course, the USPS spends 90% of its costs on employees (salaries, benefits, pensions). For UPS and FedEx those costs are less than 50%. That’s the main problem.

  4. Exatron says

    You can thank Congressional Republicans for the budget problems the post office has. As they left power in 2006, they passed a law requiring the post office to make prepayments on its employee pension fund for 75 years in the future. No other business or government agency is required to make such payments, and the post office would be running a surplus if it weren’t for that law.

  5. Mark says

    This is all a manufactured crisis. A few years ago, the Republican Congress/Bush passed legislation requiring the USPS to PRE-PAY future health care costs. This requires the USPS to shell out $5 BILLION this year. No other federal agency has this requirement. If this requirement weren’t in effect, the USPS would either break even or turn a profit.

  6. chasmader says

    My Two Cents:

    End Saturday service as it’s no longer a workday (and hasn’t been in close to a Century). Only have residential service three days a week and keep commercial delivery daily for an additional fee.

  7. craig fox says

    It already takes a week for a letter to get across our city of 100,000 — – that next day service is a fantasy to start with. Maybe in works in DC, but not out it middle america. I have had products arrive from Italy via Fed Ex in 2 days, while a bill paid by mail takes a week or more to arrive in the same city I live in. Now its going to take longer? If they provided service, they would not lose customers- – If all customers paid the same rates, we would not have piles of junk mail to sort through and throw out.

  8. AedanCRoberts says

    Here’s a better one, Chasmander:

    Instead of crippling the service either way (and honestly your way sound atrocious) why don’t we remove that legislation the Rethuglicans put in place to intentionally hamstring the USPS?

    Seriously. This is as ridiculous and fabricated a crisis as the one the Rethugs created for the Debt Ceiling. It’s time to stop giving them these ridiculous victories that allows them to turn around and blame the very thing they themselves destroyed.

  9. AnonJack says

    Amen on this being a manufactuted crisis. Despite the fact that, years ago, Congress withdrew all taxpayer funding for the post office (it must be completely self-sufficient, something far less essential government agencies don’t even have to be), the Post Office did well, even having a surplus a few years ago…so enter the privatization freaks in the anti-government/pro-business Republican party and suddenly, the post office, which gets no taxpayer funding, is required by Congress to pre-fund its healthcare and benefits for decades into the future (unlike any agency or private business out there). So now, something like 90% of their money gos to salaries and benefits (because of the billions of dollars every year require to be pre-paid decades of years in advance to healthcare and retirement accounts). Republicans then take the money woes and service impacts that come from their ridiculous and fake statistics like 90% of their money goes to salaries and benefits, to make it appear that the post office is some poorly run organization, taking your tax dollars, and paying it all out in union deals. They never mention the fact that taxpayer funding went away a long time ago, nor that they literally force the Post Office to hand over any money it makes, instead of reinvesting or spening any of it on service improvements. The goal is privatization but trust me, your costs won’t go DOWN when the companies involved have a profit motive…competition or not. And you saw what things like higher fuel prices did to airline prices, fees, and service. I am so angry this is happening.

  10. TC says

    Ben Franklin would be ashamed of us for this. The Post Office was not set up to make a profit — it was set up to help the flow of commerce. And it works.

    Do you really want to pay $15 each for FedEx to deliver your mail?

  11. Kevin_BGFH says

    I’m so glad that so many of you (Exatron, Mark, AEDANCROBERTS) have pointed out how the GOP is deliberately trying to undermine the USPS. And the reason: postal workers represent the largest union in the country, and destroying their business is part of their agenda to destroy unions in the country.

    I will personally be negatively impacted by a reduction in service. I work for a very small company, and I work remotely. My paycheck is mailed to me. I’m supposed to receive it every other Friday, but it usually arrives on Mondays. I already live paycheck-to-paycheck, and the unpredictability of knowing when I will receive my paycheck makes budgeting a challenge. I would love it if my company had direct deposit, but we’re so small that the per-employee cost of that doesn’t make it feasible.

  12. anon says

    There’s a variety of unworkable regulations that have put the USPS in jeopardy, but the entire service is getting anachronistic. The only reason people still use checks is because of bank wire fees and the shoddy service of Paypal.

  13. Redebbm says

    Just like every Federal Agency, the Republicans want it Privatized and want it privatized now. In reality if the USPS was held to the same standard as other federal agencies it would be fine. You can easily look to Republicans for this Manufactured crisis. They are pros at making them.
    The USPS employs many Americans. The people there make living wages, have benefits, and will be able to retire. Of course Republican want to get rid of that. They have a loathing for the Middle class and want to undermine and resource that helps the Middle Class in favor of their 1% lovers.

  14. says

    I’m fully on board with getting rid of junk mail. That mail is basically 50% off for companies and the post office *loses* big time money on it.

    That said, the real reason why there’s a post office budget “crisis” is being that crisis was written into law by Republicans and Blue Dogs, forcing the post office to pay for 30 years worth of pensions in just 10. This is an entirely MANUFACTURED crisis — and the GOP and Blue Dogs never like to let those manufactured crises to go to waste… (that’s usually why they cause them to begin with).